If reports in the Mexican press are to be believed Pachuca’s Jose Francisco Torres will be called into the US squad for Wednesday’s mammoth qualifier against Mexico. The call up will have the obvious symbolic significance as Torres, a Mexican-American who plays with one of Mexico’s top clubs could figure against El Tri. But in fact a bigger issue may be at play in the entire US Player Pool.
A call up for Torres, and a continued role for the left footed midfielder could marginalize Freddy Adu. Torres and Adu are both smallish in body frame and play a similar style. Adu is the more technically gifted of the two and far more accomplished on the international level.
But Torres actually plays in meaningful matches for his club and has had his impact felt in both the CONCACAF Champions Cup and Club World Cup. This year Torres will be playing in the Copa Libertadoras. Bob Bradley and Assistant Peter Nowak convinced Torres to choose the US over Mexico.
Is it possible that Torres was promised playing time? Or perhaps Bradley was dissatisfied with how Adu was performing on the training pitch and felt he had to secure Torres services.
In a natural attacking formation room may exist for both Freddy Adu and Jose Torres. But in Bob Bradley’s US setup, defensive in nature two attacking midfielders whose game is similar are not needed. Additionally, Bradley has an extreme bias towards selecting his former Chicago Fire player, DaMarcus Beasley at left midfielder.
Beasley can hardly get a game for Rangers, but the perceived rules for being in form or getting regular playing time that have been applied to the likes of Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu or Michael Parkhurst never have been applied to DaMarcus Beasley or Carlos Bocanegra. Not so coincidently both of the aforementioned footballers played for Bradley in Chicago.
Bradley’s bias towards Beasley’s continued selection is not worth debating here. Bradley is comfortable with his former player, and the fact is that Beasley has started in the better part of two World Cups for the United States, so he is seasoned in a way that Adu and Torres are not at the international level. But the reality is that because of Beasley, Torres and Adu may be fighting one another for a spot on the US squad going forward.
PHOTO AT TOP FROM GETTY IMAGES